Zika Breaking News

Zika breaking news brought to you by Zika News.

Sep 5, 2020 • 7:46 am CDT

Zika Vaccine Partnership Announced

England-based Enesi Pharma announced on September 3, 2020, its partnership with the University of Adelaide to develop a new thermostable, solid dose DNA vaccine for the Zika virus to prevent infection of pregnant women and the resultant congenital effects in unborn children. No date for launching a phase 1 study was announced.

DNA and RNA vaccines present important thermostability challenges and require an uninterrupted end-to-end cold chain throughout to maintain potency up to the point of administration. Enesi’s ImplaVax® technology aims to address these challenges by creating needle-free, solid dose vaccines, that are thermally stable at temperatures up to 40oC and eliminate the need for cold-chain storage and distribution.

Sep 5, 2020 • 7:36 am CDT

Zika Infection During Pregnancy Can Affect a Baby's Brain

In some cases, a Zika virus (ZIKV) infection during pregnancy leads to a series of severe defects in the fetus collectively known as congenital Zika syndrome (CZS), which includes microcephaly, defective neuronal migration, and impaired cortical development. These researchers from Brazil compared brain tissue from babies who died from CZS with tissue samples from babies that died from other causes.

study published on June 9, 2020, by Aguiar et al. combined genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic analyses of blood and postmortem brains and demonstrated that ZIKV-infected neonates showed a reduction in collagen expression and an increase in adhesion factor expression, alterations in the extracellular matrix consistent with the brain defects seen in CZS. Together, these datasets form a useful resource for those investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying CZS in humans.

'The Zika outbreak began in 2015, and only now do we have these results. Scientific research cannot be performed overnight. I know everyone wants answers quickly, but the fact is that if you speed up the process artificially, you risk getting bad science," said these researchers in a press statement on September 3, 2020.

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Aug 31, 2020 • 2:32 am CDT

Accelerate Congenital Zika Virus Syndrome Identification

This study published in The Lancet on August 26, 2020, reports that clinical Zika virus cases with severe malformations of the rhombencephalon and reduced total brain volume have a higher chance of also showing pathological brain activity, including epileptiform discharges and reduced sleep-related oscillations. And, infants with Zika-derived microcephaly commonly present irritable behavior, which may develop into subclinical and clinical seizures.

This new study suggests 'identifying signs with predictive power over clinical evolution can help the physician to determine better treatment and, consequently, prognosis.'

Aug 28, 2020 • 3:05 pm CDT

Updated Guidelines for the Prevention of Sexual Transmission of Zika

The WHO published interim guidelines on the prevention of sexual transmission of Zika virus in September 2016, based on a limited amount of evidence under an emergency process during a public health emergency of international concern. Since then, the body of scientific evidence has grown considerably.

You can download this new document, which was published on June 15, 2020, at this WHO link.

Aug 27, 2020 • 8:15 am CDT

California Reports Positive Zika Trend

The State of California Health Agency reported a very positive, downward trend in travel-related Zika virus cases on August 1, 2020. Through the first 6-months of 2020, California has only reported (2) Zika cases. This data compares with 2019 when (41) Zika cases were confirmed in California. And in 2018, when (68) cases were confirmed.